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Free Trade Agreement negotiation commences between HK and ASEAN (with photos)

     The first round of negotiation on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was held successfully today (July 11).

     Representatives from the Governments of the 10 Member States of ASEAN met representatives of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on July 10 and 11 in Hong Kong at the first meeting of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Trade Negotiation Committee, which marks the formal commencement of the FTA negotiation.

     The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, greeted the ASEAN representatives and expressed wishes for a smooth negotiation process to pave way for a fruitful outcome.

     "ASEAN is an important trading partner of Hong Kong. An FTA between Hong Kong and ASEAN will boost the economic growth of the two sides, and at the same time further enhance Hong Kong's role as a regional trading hub, and as a gateway for trade and investment between ASEAN and the Mainland.

     "The commencement of Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA negotiation marks a significant milestone of Hong Kong's participation in regional economic integration," Mr So said.

     The key elements covered by the FTA negotiation include the elimination or reduction of tariffs; rules of origin; liberalisation of trade in services; liberalisation, promotion and protection of investment; and intellectual property co-operation.

     ASEAN comprises Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ends/Friday, July 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:56


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